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    'Pak cricket needed change of guard'

    Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has welcomed the appointment of Zaka Ashraf as the new PCB chief.

    Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has welcomed the appointment of Zaka Ashraf as the new PCB chief. (AP Photo)

    Lahore: Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram feels a change of guard at PCB was "much needed" and welcomed the appointment of Zaka Ashraf as the board chief.

    "Ijaz Butt had lost the confidence of the cricket fraternity and to appoint Zaka Ashraf is a good move. We must welcome change and Ashraf must be supported well," Akram wrote in his column for a website.

    "I have not met Ashraf but I believe he is very good organiser. The bank of which he is the president is doing very well. He should run Pakistan cricket as if he is running his office. You don't have to be a cricketer to run the PCB."

    Akram's suggestion is that Ashraf must make a cricket committee.

    "But Ashraf must definitely make a cricket committee. That should be high on his agenda. It should consist of three or four ex-cricketers, who will make honest and unbiased opinion and are not 'yes men'.

    "The decision of the cricket committee must be respected and Ashraf must not poke his nose in everything. Ashraf's biggest challenge will be to put the house in order and I can only wish him well."

    Akram, in his column, expressed his worry about the troubled times that Pakistan cricket is currently into.

    "Pakistan cricket has gone through a lot of turmoil in recent times. It can ill-afford to have any more. The spot-fixing saga did not paint a good picture of Pakistan cricket and now the trial in UK is causing some embarrassment for sure. But sense must prevail as the media should not get carried away by the allegations Mazhar Majeed is making."

    "Majeed is causing harm to Pakistan cricket. I hope better sense prevails as we are listening to a fellow who is not serious about his life. He has rattled off names like Pervez Musharraf and Roger Federer. This is crazy. More than three-fourths of what he is saying is false!"

    On the cricketing front, he said that senior cricketer Shoaib Malik justified his selection in the national team during the series versus Sri Lanka.

    "A Test series always provides the platform for players to prove their worth. While someone like Umar Akmal will ponder about his future and the wasted opportunities, men like Shoaib Malik must now try and justify the faith the selectors have put on him once more."

    Akram feels that Malik is a useful cricketer and should stay away from politics.

    "Shoaib has seen a lot of ups and downs in his career. He has been a former skipper and understands the value of team spirit. I think Shoaib is a very useful cricketer as long as he knows that he needs to help out the youngsters and keep a safe distance form politicking."

    He also added: "Shoaib has been away from international cricket for close to eight months now and this gap would have given him the time to think about his future and how he must conduct himself.

    "He should enjoy his cricket now. He still has about three-four years of cricket left in him, during which he must support his seniors, his captain and mentor the youngsters.

    "Hopefully, he will do justice to his position in the young squad."